Tonight, the House voted to accept the Senate amendments to House Resolution 8, setting in motion the enactment of the McConnell-Biden brokered deal to avert the “fiscal cliff.” The House will next hold a quick vote to pass the underlying resolution. The House GOP caucus voted against the proposal by almost a 2-1 margin. The measure secured a healthy 250 votes for passage because of overwhelming support from Democrats.
In the coming hours, conservatives will be scrutinizing the final roll-call vote. The deal, agreed to now by both Chambers, calls for $620 Billion in new taxes and $330 Billion in new spending over the next ten years. Members of both parties took to the floor tonight to argue that this deal was a “first step” towards addressing out national debt and runaway deficits. Unfortunately for conservatives, we never seem to get to the second step on spending issues.
Just over 80 House Republicans voted for this deal. It will be interesting to see who supported the package. It has been reported that Speaker Boehner would vote for the legislation, even though the Speaker rarely casts a vote. It has also been reported that Majority Leader Cantor would vote against the Senate deal.
The division within Leadership has raised questions about whether Rep. Cantor may challenge Speaker Boehner for the Speakership, set to be voted on Thursday afternoon. Tonight, Speaker Boehner allowed the Minority Party to pass legislation to lift taxes and increase spending. It may be the final act of his leadership.